The article deals with the issue of illness and suffering in Carmelite sermons of the 17th–18th centuries. The question of the origin of suffering is considered along with the role of God’s mercy and justice in the preaching discourse about the rightness and purposefulness of suffering of the human being. In addition, an analysis of the views of preachers about topics related to passing away and the attitude they advocate in the face of death is included.
The author analyses problems of disease, dying, and death addressed in a play by Margaret Edson entitled Wit. Special attention is paid to the structure of meta-theatre and the function of wit in the play. The author investigates limitations of reason in the approach adopted by the doctors who take care of Vivian Bearing, and who subject her to an excruciating experiment in order to achieve a potential research success. She also discusses the protagonist’s attitude to literary works, dealing with her own disease, to other people and to God. This offers an opportunity to ruminate on the exact meaning of irretrievable loss involved in suffering. She also concentrates on the attitude of the nurse who – thanks to her emotional intelligence and empathy – accompanies Vivian on her way to death.